To start this off, it would be a good idea to read all the blog posts (including my earlier one) as well as the start of the Blog Banter here.
To add some additional perspective in this, you’ll want to see Poetic’s comment on the current state of the New Eden Open.
The simple fact apparent to me is that CCP and Eve Online aren’t really ready for a “for cash” tournament. I don’t like “for cash” tournaments in the first place, but I really don’t want something like this.. as public as this is.. to negatively reflect on CCP or on Eve Online. Therefore, I have a couple suggestions that I think are easy, quick, and will improve (though not necessarily fix) the event.
Problem #1: Camera Angles – Solution: Cloaked Camera Pilots
This really shouldn’t be that hard because the basic mechanics are already in game. The principle behind this is based around normal sporting events like football and American Football, where you have multiple cameras watching the same event and you have someone (not one of the announcers because they will be too busy) who basically watching all the cameras and can cut from one camera to another with a press of a button. I would also add maybe two stationary cameras just outside the field of battle to help people get an overall view of the battle from time to time (make sure there is a reference point like a planet or something in the background).
Now the Camera Pilots could use normal Cov-Op ships (or Dev Ships, whatever), but be given a cloaky module that operates on the same principle as current Cov-Ops Cloakers, except that the detection radius is reduced to 0, essentially making it unable to be cloaked. This way they are able to get close in for better action and for more exciting play. Here are some websites that help prove my point:
The big selling point of having multiple camera angles is that it allows the network to keep your eyes on where the action is. Smartly going back to an overall view from time to time helps people keep a good sense of the spatial relation of the game going on. Please, CCP, do this. It would add tremendously to the quality of experience you will get PLUS it will buy you time for you to develop some seriously smart (and cool tools) like web accessable camera angles that allow people to change camera locations and pilots from a web browser. Believe me, that would be VERY cool..
Problem #2: Who is who? – Solution: Break out the Skins.
Let’s be clear, CCP art department is second to none. While they sometimes wiff on some designs, they hit it out of the part usually (like the new Vagabond model that I LOVE). The fact of the matter is that while the ship skins are amazingly cool, they are also amazingly difficult to see in the darkness of space AND are impossible to distinguish oneside from the other if both fleets are fielding the same ship. The simple solution is that you recolor the ship skins for the tournament. Not sure how hard this is, but I do know they have done some work in this already:
Anyways, the big problem is that the ships are difficult to see, difficult to know what side they are on, and the “blue” and “red” boxes just break the immersion. And you kinda want the immersion. So, here are some, rather funny examples:
I know, pretty funny right? Now, instead of light blue and pink.. what if you used a medium or fire engine red and a deep blue, each contrasting with white, to indicate which side each was on? See, then people could tell looking at the ships themselves who was on which side and who was winning without resorting to a fairly old, and cheap looking, colored block? Changing the skins would look snazzy, and definately make people want to take a second look at the game of Eve.
We might even be able to keep some of those players too..